New Delhi, Oct 26 (IANS) Communist Party of India leader Binoy Viswam on Thursday again moved the Supreme Court challenging the provisions of the Finance Act mandating linking of Aadhaar with PAN and for filing income tax returns.
Viswam’s move followed a nine judge constitution bench holding that the right to privacy was a fundamental right and had called for need to examine and put in place a robust regime for data protection.
“The Petitioner seeks to reagitate the issue in relation to the arbitrariness of the impunged section (Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act) and its being in violation of Article 14 of the Constitution of India, …” he said in his petition.
While seeking that the operation of Section 139AA be suspended till his plea was decided, Viswam has sought direction to restrain the Central government and its agencies from insisting on the linking of existing Aadhaar registered individuals with PAN or for filing Income Tax returns.
The nine judge constitution bench by its August 24 order had held that the right to privacy was a fundamental right and is an “intrinsic part” of the right to life and liberty guaranteed by the Constitution’s Article 21.
Viswam has contended that the Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act was “arbitrary and therefore, falls foul of Article 14 of the Constitution of India”.
His earlier challenge to the provision was declined by the top court by its June 9 order upholding the mandatory linking of the Aadhaar number with the Permanent Account Number (PAN) for filing income tax returns.
The court had then held that the Section 139AA was not “discriminatory”, did not “offend equality” under Article 14 and is also not violative of Article 19(1)(g).
However, the top court had partially blocked the operation of the provision mandating linking of Aadhaar with PAN as it had said that those who already possess Aadhaar will have to link it with PAN, but it cannot be insisted upon in case of people not possessing it.
It had said that the operation of the provision that provides for the invalidation of PAN if it is not linked to Aadhaar number would be prospective and not retrospective.
Viswam and others had challenged the Section 139AA of the Income Tax Act, that was incorporated by way of the Finance Act 2017-2018.
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